Harmony Park Safari in Huntsville: a Parent Review
- 431 Clouds Cove Road, Huntsville AL
- Opens for the season March - November
- 10:00 AM - until Sunset, 7 Days a Week
Harmony Park Safari is one of Huntsville’s most surprising gems! When entering the park the first thing you do is pull up to the little hut and pay. Make sure you get at least one bucket of food for the animals. The animals know the cars have treats and if you don’t feed them you won’t get very much attention. The attendant will open up a large gate and you are on your own. Almost immediately you will have 5-10 various animals around your car!
The speed limit is 5 mph but many times we moved slower than that. We decided to let the kids out of their seat belts so they could see better and toss food out the windows. They ask that you don’t lower your windows more than eight inches and there is a reason for this rule! The animals are very friendly and they aren’t afraid to get up close and personal for a treat. When the animal wanting a treat is their Scottish Highlander, Mr. Wilson, it can get a little intimidating!
While we were there we saw bison, zebras, ostrich, llamas, goats, deer, a donkey, a camel, gators, antelope, buffalo, peacocks, a giraffe, snakes, iguanas, ducks, kangaroos, turtles, lemurs and a TON more that I can’t even remember.
About Harmony Park Safari
Harmony Park Safari opened in 1990 with 30 acres of land to house the animals they care for. The park is unique because most of the animals roam freely nibbling treats tossed out from the visitors’ car windows. HPS is a federally licensed nature preserve of free-ranging exotic & endangered animals. Things are constantly improving on the property and the park is always adding new animals. The newest addition is a brand new Reptile Room that is at least twice as big as their old one. Their newest resident is a young giraffe that is now living peacefully in his new south Huntsville home.
Much of the admission fee goes towards just feeding all of the animals. They use over 8,000 pounds of grain a month to feed them all. The food that they give you is more like candy to the park animals and they don’t get it from anywhere other than the visiting cars so they are really excited for visitors!
Harmony Park Safari Pro-Tips
After you finish your drive don’t leave yet! There are a lot of animals that you can walk around and see (some that need to be more contained) as well as a giraffe and kangaroo. There is also the opportunity to touch and feed some very large turtles! Updated May 2020 – Harmony Park is drive-through only until further notice due to Covid-19.
The 2-mile driving trail is laid out in a loop. Once you get in the park you can drive around as long as you like. There is no way my kids would have let us leave after only one go around anyway!
Make sure you buy the animal food. If you don’t buy the food they figure it out quickly and go visit the other cars that are tossing out treats. If you want their attention, you need to buy the food.
Ask for extra cups. My kids accidentally dropped every single little cup they gave us when tossing the food out the window. You can also bring a few from home.
Plan on taking your car through a car wash after your visit. There is no way around it. Between the fingerprints from my kids’ hands on the inside of the car and the animal mouths & noses on the outside, just factor in a car wash when you are thinking about price. On that note, judging from other reviews, I wouldn’t advise taking your brand-new car through the park either. These are big animals and there’s always the risk of minor dings & scratches. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, the park has rental SUV’s you can borrow for $15 to drive through the park.
Harmony Park Safari Details
Address: 431 Clouds Cove Road, Huntsville (map)
View Website | Frequently Asked Questions
Cost: $10 per person (cash or check only), kids 2 and under free; food buckets $5
Hours: Opens for the season March – November, 10:00 AM – until Sunset, 7 Days a Week
Editor’s Note: We are aware of the controversy reported both on local news and to us by local parents about Harmony Park. Those that wish to know more about the safety & practices of the park before they go can easily research that on their own. This parent review is one mom’s experience with her family at the park.
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Jenni McCarty is a wife, mom of four, l'il bit granola, jean-wearer, iced coffee drinker, home schooler, more than just a little obsessed with photography, frustrated organizer (see “mom of four”) yet ironically logical, Pinterest addict and Facebook follower, sufferer of ADCD (attention deficit crafters disorder), displaced Alaskan. She opened Jenni M Photography in 2012 and she really enjoys blogging about her personal family adventures whenever she has a chance.
Do you know when they close for the season?
I’m not sure – I just tried to call but both numbers I have are either busy or disconnected. They aren’t the easiest to get in touch with. I’ll try again tomorrow.
I got a recording!!
I have just made certain to drive there during their regular hours, making sure to be at least an hour before closing at the latest. Always was admitted. Staff were all on the grounds…very busy handling customers and seeing to the animals. They never seemed to close, regardless of the season. I never tried visiting on holidays.
I was wondering the same thing. I finally found a number for them 256-723-3880. The VM said open daily from 10 am to dusk. Last car must arrive 1 hour prior to dusk. $9 per person 2 and under free.
I can’t get an answer from them either but does anyone know if you are able to drive a 15 passenger van through??
I can’t get them on the phone either – I don’t see why not. Just keep in mind some cars have been damaged by the animals.
I just read on a Facebook review that NO, you can not drive a 15 passenger van through because of tree overgrowth and potential for damage to the van. That review shows as “3 months ago” so relatively recent.
Are they still open?
I do you know if they are open now? I have called the number twice and just keep getting the voicemail.
Is this place still open? I’m looking to take my son there as part of a birthday weekend. Any info or help with how to contact would be appreciated.
As far as we know they are still open but they are notoriously hard to reach (as evidenced by other comments on this post).
They should invest in a safari-like vehicle where they can take visitors around the 2 mile loop so you wouldn’t have to take your personal vehicle through it. That would give them an opportunity to teach visitors about the animals along the way too.
That is a GREAT idea, Jen! I hope they would consider that!
I saw where they rent an xterra if you don’t want to take personal vehicle. Looking for more info on that
Are we able to drive a tundra pickup truck through ? Is this zoo still open ?
It is still open but it’s incredibly hard to reach anyone on the phone or via email. You kind of just have to go – please note it is not unusual for cars to be damaged or scratched. The animals can get very excited!
Do you know how much the food buckets are now?
Not sure – we haven’t been since Spring. Have you tried calling?
I know personally that HPS opens at 10 and they stop taking vehicles 1 hour before sun down. And yes they have a couple of Xterras that they rent out to people that do not want to drive their own vehicle . Also they sale big buckets for $5. And they also sale individua cups as well. They also sale cups of lettuce for i believe $2 to feed the turtles. And i would highly recommend every1 to take their kids they would love it. Oh and they recently just got a baby baboon as well.
The buckets are $5
How much is it to rent the xterras?
Does anybody have the price for renting the xterras???
It is $15 to rent their vehicle 🙂
Does anyone know what type of food is given to feed the animals? My daughter has severe food allergies peanuts tree nuts and seeds. I see they are pretty good about not answering the phone so I doubt I’ll get a hold of anyone.
I honestly don’t know – and you are right about their phone habits. I think the only way to know for sure is to swing by and see if you can catch someone in person. Or ask on the Mom2Mom Facebook forum? Maybe someone there will know.
This is the best place to take children that love animals. Not far out of Huntsville, (about ten minutes from the Speedway by Ditto Landing). Not alot of employees and everyone stays busy, so hard to reach someone but they r always open so just drive on down. There is everything from farm animals to exotic extinct n the wild mammals to reptiles and dinosaurs. Best part is the drive thru feeding, every animal inside the fence comes to u for feed, so many u can’t move the car at times. I highly HIGHLY recommend using there Xterra it’s 15$ and u can drive thru as many times as u want. BEWARE they r filthy, I would bring a trash bag or towel to sit on, but that’s worth it if it means the massive Buffalo puts scratches and dings n there car and not mine. One bucket of feed (5$) is no way enough and once u start feeding that’s all u want to do. We bought 4 buckets and I still wanted to go back for more. The water area where u can hand feed many different types of tortoises was fun for the kids, it was clean and gave them an up close look at a variety of reptiles and birds. All the animals appeared to be very clean and happy to be there. The facility is small and layed back so u feel like u can move at ur own pace and really take ur time exploring things. Only downside is the restrooms r Porta joins n the corner n the sun, recommend going before u get there. Went June 11 2017, mid morning before church crowds, as we were leaving they were really starting to fill up. Go early and get more one on one time with the cridders.